Intelligence and contrarian selections - Northumberland Plate weekend....

Last Updated: 26.06.2020

Friday, 26th June 2020

Intelligence and contrarian selections - Northumberland Plate weekend….

Newcastle takes centre stage this weekend – with the Northumberland Plate the feature contest at 3.35 – a C2 handicap contested over the extended 2m trip….

It’s the kind of race I like – with a field of 20 going to post. There’s sure to be a competitive horse priced-up wrong. I’ll be having some money down on it. That much is for sure….

Yesterday, I consulted the historic record for clues and pointers….

I’ll get to my selections shortly. First, before I do anything else, I want to know who heads into the weekend in form….

Yard form -----

Every day I look at the top dozen men (with at least a dozen runners over the last 7-days) in terms of winners and then I take a look at total place strike rates to determine the most consistent of those volume producers....

It’s quick. It’s dirty. You can argue with the method or the logic or the conclusions. But that’s how I do it. And I share what I’ve got....

Here’s the universal T12 table – across all trainers – with Alan King, Roger Varian and David O’Meara sitting top of the pops….

Trainer Record

This next table narrows the focus a little. It relates only to the trainers with runners in tomorrow’s big race – the Northumberland Plate….

Obviously, some of these trainers haven’t had 12 runners over the last 7-days – and wouldn’t qualify for inclusion in the universal table – but they are nevertheless included in this one…. 

Charlie Fellowes, David Simcock, Hugo Palmer and William Muir have done okay with the minimal runners they’ve had over the past week….

Trainer Record

In the plate -----  

In addition to the Northumberland Plate, there will be three decent races run up the straight at Newcastle tomorrow afternoon….

There’s the 6f handicap at 1.15, the G3 Chipchase Stakes at 1.50 over 6f and the Gosforth Park Cup at 2.25 over the 5f trip….
I wondered which of the jockeys with a ride in one or more of those races tomorrow has the best record – and might prove of most advantage to a horse – in decent races (C4 and better) run up the Newcastle AW straight

The table below – based on the last three years of results in qualifying races contested by a double-figure field – offers some direction. Note: only riders with 15+ qualifying rides over the period are included….

Jockey Record

Kevin Stott is probably not the name you would expect to top the table. But that’s the beauty of looking at ultra-specific niche stats. They offer an entirely different – and more focused – perspective than the wider market is working with….

And one thing you can be sure of with Stott, he’s going to be feeling on top of the world in terms of confidence – after bagging a Diamond Jubilee and a Wokingham within the space of an hour last weekend….

He rides Major Jumbo for Kevin Ryan in the 1.50 at Newcastle tomorrow. You will note that Ryan makes it into our 7-day form table heading into the weekend….

  • My selections for Newcastle....

Mark Johnston’s ANYONECANHAVEITALL looks a fair bet at 12s for the Northumberland Plate at 3.35….

The in-form Mark Johnston’s course and distance winner warmed-up for this assignment with a solid effort behind an improving horse of Paul Nicholls’ at Pontefract….

He didn’t quite see it out that day – but it was his first run of the season and he is entitled to come on for it. The encouraging feature of the performance is that it represented another career-best effort – his fourth in his last five runs….

He’s up 3lb to a career-high official rating of 84. But I reckon there’s more to come yet. He gets in at the bottom of the weights tomorrow carrying just 8-0. Joe Fanning is probably going to have to do without supper, breakfast and lunch to do that weight – but clearly feels the sacrifice is worth it…. 

The horse does the trip, he likes the track, he’s got a run under his belt, the yard is in form, the jockey is solid-enough at the track and has a decent race record – if this front-runner turns up a  it better than he was at Pontefract, he could prove hard to reel in….

In the Gosforth Park Handicap at 2.25, I’m backing Richard Fahey’s FOOL FOR YOU to land back-to-back renewals of this race at the general 11s….

After winning this last year she was pitched into some big valuable handicaps and kind of lost her way a bit….

That can happen. And horses can bounce back given time. On reappearance at Ayr in a Listed event she gave an encouraging account of herself and should be cherry-ripe for this return to Newcastle….

She won it off 88 last time. She tries off 91 this time and that mark is not beyond her. She’s been aimed at this and she’ll be there or thereabouts….

Nick’s contrarian picks….

To recap on where my idea of the value lies tomorrow afternoon….

In the Northumberland Plate (3.35 @ Newcastle).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – ANYONECANHAVEITALL (12s generally)

In the Gosforth Park Handicap (2.25 @ Newcastle).

  • Nick’s Contrarian Picks – FOOL FOR YOU (11s generally)

That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that is exactly as it should be.

  • The final word….

That’s all from me for now....

I’ll be back on Monday with more handicap-focused insight, analysis and intelligence. Stay tuned....

All the best. Enjoy the racing….

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd